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  • Originally posted by astralis View Post
    Given the known issues with Russian logistics and C2, it seems to me that the current numbers are all they can effectively juggle. they can have those sitting in reserve but the way the equipment is being used up, the Russkis will end up with their reserves attacking with T-62s they dug up from some museum.
    Meat grinders, Eric. C2 is simple. Shoot anything that is in front of you. Keep moving forward until you can't and wait to be relieved. Don't fall back because you will be mistaken for a charging enemy. T-62s? I'm waiting for T-55s and maybe even some T-34s. The old Soviet addage. Why keep them around? Because when you need them, nothing better is on the battlefield.

    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    agreed. the Russians have shown more resilience than I gave them credit for. but at the end of the day, I really do think the Russians will go Winchester before the Ukrainians do.
    I don't think either side will reach that point. Both sides are able to replace men and stock to maintain small unit actions for the foreseeable future. It's not like these are battles of a million+ men, 3000 guns, and a 1000 tanks.

    Chimo

    Comment


    • Colonel, as a combat engineer, do you think if the Ukrainians hit the Antonovsky Bridge enough with HIMARS, they can render it impassable and keep it in such a state by hitting any potential repair crews?

      The damage done in this video is said to be from HIMARS. Overall, relatively minor damage, but one good size hole was put in it.

      "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

      Comment


      • Well, anything can take that bridge out if you're at it long enough. Even I can collapse the bridge with a pickaxe if you give me a 1000 years. HIMARS original intent is counter-battery and it's a shoot and scoot system. That rocket trail is a clear sign of where you are and if there are enemy air assets flying, you're good as dead. So, I won't be relying on it to keep that bridge impassable. First shot, sure but after that, I want that launcher high tailing it out of there and under cover fast. In coming rounds are on their way.

        That being said, there's a lot of questions to be asked. How vital is that bridge to a Ukrainian counter-attack? Yes, you want to deny it to the Russians but do you want to deny it to yourself also? There's also a balancing act. Damage the bridge too much and the Russians will go somewhere else or even build their own bridge and you can't count on knowing where. You want to damage the bridge enough so that the Russians would want to repair it and you can concentrate a fight at this bridge (come back again and again to kill the engineers)

        As it is, I see this as only a one time hit. I can't see the Ukrainians trying to hit this bridge again with HIMARS. The Russians will be looking. Even if you score another hit, the rocket trail means the launcher is good as dead.
        Chimo

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
          Well, anything can take that bridge out if you're at it long enough. Even I can collapse the bridge with a pickaxe if you give me a 1000 years. HIMARS original intent is counter-battery and it's a shoot and scoot system. That rocket trail is a clear sign of where you are and if there are enemy air assets flying, you're good as dead. So, I won't be relying on it to keep that bridge impassable. First shot, sure but after that, I want that launcher high tailing it out of there and under cover fast. In coming rounds are on their way.

          That being said, there's a lot of questions to be asked. How vital is that bridge to a Ukrainian counter-attack? Yes, you want to deny it to the Russians but do you want to deny it to yourself also? There's also a balancing act. Damage the bridge too much and the Russians will go somewhere else or even build their own bridge and you can't count on knowing where. You want to damage the bridge enough so that the Russians would want to repair it and you can concentrate a fight at this bridge (come back again and again to kill the engineers)

          As it is, I see this as only a one time hit. I can't see the Ukrainians trying to hit this bridge again with HIMARS. The Russians will be looking. Even if you score another hit, the rocket trail means the launcher is good as dead.
          What's the difference between hitting this bridge and any number of other targets in Kherson Province, as far as the risk of counter-battery to a HIMARS unit is concerned? Is the HIMARS not at the same risk if it is firing at command and control, ammo depots, fuel storage in Kherson? I've also seen this strike alternatively attributed to M982 Excalibur GPS-guided shells, fired from an M777.

          The bridge is a half-mile wide - at just about any other site on the Dnipro River where the Russians control territory, the river itself, or river+marshlands is wider. The Sivery Donets in Luhansk, by contrast, was about 250 feet wide. This is where the Ukrainians hit a few Russian BTGs trying to cross with pontoon bridges back in May. I don't think the Russians are capable of bridging the Dnipro at any point, short of building a conventional bridge, which would be a multi-year project.

          I imagine if the Russian hold on the territories they occupy on the west bank became untenable, and they were forced to retreat across it, and the Ukrainians advanced in numbers across it, the Russians could then take out the bridge, trap the Ukrainian forces on the east bank, and defeat them in detail. I think the Ukrainians have a chance to do just that to the Russians, by taking down the bridge, preventing re-supply and reinforcements, cutting off Russian forces on the west bank. I think the least risky axis of advance for the Ukrainians into the south would be from the Zaporizhzhia direction.
          "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
            Well, anything can take that bridge out if you're at it long enough. Even I can collapse the bridge with a pickaxe if you give me a 1000 years. HIMARS original intent is counter-battery and it's a shoot and scoot system. That rocket trail is a clear sign of where you are and if there are enemy air assets flying, you're good as dead. So, I won't be relying on it to keep that bridge impassable. First shot, sure but after that, I want that launcher high tailing it out of there and under cover fast. In coming rounds are on their way.

            That being said, there's a lot of questions to be asked. How vital is that bridge to a Ukrainian counter-attack? Yes, you want to deny it to the Russians but do you want to deny it to yourself also? There's also a balancing act. Damage the bridge too much and the Russians will go somewhere else or even build their own bridge and you can't count on knowing where. You want to damage the bridge enough so that the Russians would want to repair it and you can concentrate a fight at this bridge (come back again and again to kill the engineers)

            As it is, I see this as only a one time hit. I can't see the Ukrainians trying to hit this bridge again with HIMARS. The Russians will be looking. Even if you score another hit, the rocket trail means the launcher is good as dead.
            The MLRS round that hit here was not of the version for counterbattery. That would be a DPICM warhead with a couple hundred bomblets. This was hit by the Unitary HE round with 200+ pound warhead...an M31 or M32. The US phased out the DPICM variant years ago. Those not used up were destroyed or converted to the M31/32 configuration. These were developed for use in Iraq to be highly accurate and hit a target which would minimize collateral damage.

            A DPICM warhead would have pitted the road surface but not blasted a hole into the bridge deck. I wonder if the UKR's were trying to the bridge or something that was crossing the bridge.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
              Really can't see us giving them $100mil airplanes.
              They aren't. At least not yet.

              This is purely for training Ukrainian pilots on U.S.-designed fighters. No hardware transfers are involved.

              Exchange programs have already resulted in a "small number" of Ukrainians that can fly the A-10 Hog and it's not entirely impossible that A-10s could make their way into the Ukrainian inventory someday.

              There's about a hundred A-10s in storage at AMARG and they'd make dandy replacements for the Frogfoot.

              Click image for larger version

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              I'm personally kinda doubtful that A-10s will go to Ukraine but hey, stranger things have happened and I've been spectacularly wrong in the past. A lot.

              God knows the USAF leadership has been trying to dump the A-10 since, I dunno, before it even flew?

              Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
              We don't even have enough to backfill our own requirements. The Poles have to wait to get F-16s to replace the MiG-29s they gave to the Ukrainians while the USAF extend coverage into their airspace while they wait.
              The Polish MiG-29s haven't been transferred, but that could change. It was the 11 Slovakian Fulcrums that went to Ukraine, with the Czech Republic covering Slovak airspace until their F-16s arrive in 2024

              I think that if and when U.S. fighters are sent to Ukraine, they won't be the latest and greatest Block 70/72's (which are "only" a mere $63 million each, reserve yours today!)

              They'll probably be pulled from AMARG, at least to get the UAF's non-Soviet program off the ground (no pun intended)

              At the moment there are just over 300 F-16s of all types in storage. At the very least, a few dozen would be useful to flesh out UAF training and evaluation squadrons.




              Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
              For air denial, best bang for the buck is still SAMs.
              No doubt about it. I see this as a long-term far-sighted plan, possibly not even intended for the current conflict. They're planting the seeds now for the post-war Ukrainian Air Force.

              If Ukrainian F-16's are thrown into this fight, it means things have dragged out far longer than anyone thought possible and I certainly don't need to tell you what kind of really bad things that implies.
              “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

              Comment


              • more and more indications of Russians now using company-sized formations on the offense, to simplify C2 and to reduce the risk of major disasters.

                https://twitter.com/Osinttechnical/s...41758800314369

                similarly, a well-written NYT report on Ukraine's 53rd Mechanized Brigade ambushing and encircling a 150-man Russian force (half from a naval infantry brigade in Crimea, half DNR/LNR conscripts) in Donetsk.

                https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/21/t...ussia-war.html

                "Further along the street the Russians had used a residential compound as their headquarters. An abandoned S.U.V. marked with the Russian code sign Z stood in the courtyard amid the debris from the battle. It was here that the Russian commander was caught. “He came out and immediately raised his hands,” Kryha said.

                There were brief street battles but the Russians put up little fight. “They realized that it no longer made sense,” the commander said. “They could not go on.”

                The Ukrainians had not planned to get bogged down with taking prisoners, but in the end they took 10 of the Russians. The Russian commander requested to be allowed to retreat without weapons back to his side but the Ukrainians did not accept that, Kryha said.

                His men showed less concern for the Ukrainians fighting alongside the Russians. Dozens of them were killed in the battle, he said, and the rest escaped."
                There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                Comment


                • If the A-10 goes to Ukraine it will get swatted out of the sky within days. The air defense capabilities of the RUS are beyond what they were in the 1970s & 1980s. The A-10 was only expected to last for less than a week if the war in Germany ever happened. In Iraq & Afghanistan they faced almost no threats.

                  They could handle the FROGFOOT mission but expect higher casualties...that is 1 reason why the USAF has been trying to retire it.
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

                  Comment


                  • yeah, A-10 employment would need to be in conjunction with other capabilities -- but if those capabilities were used well, that would mean survivability beyond days.

                    possibly do a "poor man's SEAD" through combination of EW, decoys, precision artillery.

                    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                      What's the difference between hitting this bridge and any number of other targets in Kherson Province, as far as the risk of counter-battery to a HIMARS unit is concerned? Is the HIMARS not at the same risk if it is firing at command and control, ammo depots, fuel storage in Kherson?
                      The difference is that those targets move and thus the HIMARS will also have to move to acquire the target again. The HQ is hit. Find another building. The depot/fuel storage is hit. Find another parking lot. The bridge doesn't move and thus, the radius of possible launch points is known and watched.
                      Chimo

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                        The MLRS round that hit here was not of the version for counterbattery. That would be a DPICM warhead with a couple hundred bomblets. This was hit by the Unitary HE round with 200+ pound warhead...an M31 or M32. The US phased out the DPICM variant years ago. Those not used up were destroyed or converted to the M31/32 configuration. These were developed for use in Iraq to be highly accurate and hit a target which would minimize collateral damage.
                        I stand corrected.

                        Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                        A DPICM warhead would have pitted the road surface but not blasted a hole into the bridge deck. I wonder if the UKR's were trying to the bridge or something that was crossing the bridge.
                        A moving target at a minimum 40 km/hr. That's one hell of a shot.

                        Chimo

                        Comment


                        • Ukraine Is Winning
                          And Putin’s evident desperation will only hurt him more.

                          After the Russian military failed to take Kyiv in the opening weeks of their full-scale invasion of Ukraine and refocused, at least for now, on eastern Ukraine, they have made modest gains, while reports of Ukrainian casualties and alleged poor morale proliferated. Some even concluded that the Russians finally had momentum. Ten weeks later, it is again obvious that momentum favors the Ukrainians—and the Russians’ desperate attempts to mitigate the problem will only exacerbate it.

                          Case in point: British intelligence believes that Russia has lost over 50,000 men, more than a quarter of its original invading force, and the Russian military (or, more precisely, its mercenaries, the Wagner Group) is reportedly enlisting prisoners for reinforcement. This is not an original gambit, which is why the Russian high command should know that it will backfire.

                          Nazi Germany experimented with penal units starting in 1941. At the time, the war was not looking bad for Germany from the outside, but this desperate move suggested internal problems. Indeed, it was an early indicator of the momentum the Allies were going to gain within months. Second, one thing felons have in common is a disregard for rules, authority, and discipline—a cardinal military vice. One’s intuition might suggest that prisoners are free and expendable soldiers. But they became an additional burden, a net negative, for the Wehrmacht. Instead of fighting to earn their freedom, they disobeyed orders and tried to flee. Instead of focusing on employing their forces against the enemy, the units’ commanders had their hands full trying to prevent mass desertion (often unsuccessfully). The Dirty Dozen is a great movie, but, in the real world, odds are that a unit of felons will fail because you get many more Archer Maggots than Joseph Wladislaws.

                          Russia will likely face similar problems—and their commanders are less skilled than the Germans’ were. So far, the Wagner Group has consisted of expendable losers, but effective ones nonetheless. With the new additions, the group will remain just as expendable but less effective, which doesn’t bode well for the life expectancy of their soldiers. Further, lawless felons who would commit atrocities against Ukrainian civilians will inspire resistance and insurgency. These are not secrets, and the Russian military is aware of them. So taking this risk suggests desperation, and we can only conclude that Russia’s manpower problems are much worse than they appear.

                          The increase in the quality of Ukrainian weapons is also coinciding with the decrease in the quality of the Russian weapons. The Ukrainian military has operationalized its new HIMARS—and the trajectory (pun intended) of the conversation in the United States suggests that more will arrive soon. The Pentagon’s announced the shipment of four more earlier this week. Congress is about to approve a program to train Ukrainian pilots on F-15 and F-16 jets. Though the appropriation of this money will likely not come until next year, it will give the administration Congressional purchase—and push—for the transfer of military aircraft to Ukraine, which the administration could do at any time.

                          On the other side of the front lines, the American and allied export controls on the transfer of military and dual-use goods prevent Russia from producing more advanced weapons, and the Ukrainian are proving adept at blowing up the ones the Russians are currently operating. As a consequence of the Ukrainian’s facility at blowing up high-tech Russian weapons, the Russian military is recycling old weapons like T-62 tanks, which were introduced before the Cuban Missile Crisis and deployed with embarrassing results by Iraq during the Persian Gulf War and Russia during the Russo-Georgian War.

                          Ukraine’s greatest worry, under the current circumstances, is not strictly military but economic. Projections suggest that it might lose up to 45 percent of its $198 billion GDP this year. In contrast, the highest estimate is that Russia might lose 15 percent of its $1.4 trillion GDP. But unlike Russia, Ukraine has received commitments from the free world totaling more than $65 billion in aid. Much of Ukraine’s drop in GDP has resulted from the 20 percent decline in population (which is horrifying to imagine) due to casualties, abductions, and emigration, whereas Russia’s GDP is declining while its population is stable, a short-term advantage for Ukraine. Furthermore, Vladimir Putin has not mobilized the Russian economy fully and the Russian people psychologically, which means his population is unprepared for the hardships it will endure. President Zelensky can afford, politically speaking, a sharp drop in Ukraine’s standard of living as long as he keeps fighting. Simply put, Ukrainians have a higher threshold for pain than the Russians because, for Ukrainians, this is a war for survival, while, for Russians, it’s a war of choice. Yet there remains a need for foreign commitments to rebuild the Ukrainian economy simultaneously as the country is fighting and assuring both Volodymyr and Vladimir that aid will keep coming as long as it is needed.

                          If Putin were willing to mobilize the Russian economy fully, Russia could conquer Ukraine, at least on paper. But to do so would require acknowledging that he has started a “war,” a word he continues to imprison people for using, instead of “special military operation,” which is a polite little euphemism for something going on a very long way away and don’t you worry about it. But this technical euphemism has real world effects. A declaration of war, under Russian law, would unleash enormous resources, from people (non-convicts) subject to conscription to industrial mobilization. Those resources could be sufficient to win the war. But unlocking those assets would require the government to come clean about the scale of the war. A legal declaration of war would also give extraordinary wartime power to the security ministries in Russia, which could be used against Putin in a coup. Unlike Volodymyr, Vladimir is not too confident about where he stands domestically. He’s signaling that, if he doesn’t end this war soon, the war will end him. So, at least politically speaking, time is not on his side.

                          Which brings us to the last Ukrainian advantage: judgment. Rushed and panicked leaders, like anyone else, make mistakes. Out of fear, desperation, or impatience, they make bad decisions. After the disaster in Russia, a desperate Napoleon made every wrong decision, violating his own military maxims. In a crunch and fearing he’d lose his moment, Adolf Hitler invaded the Soviet Union too early. Even cruel tyrants are still human, made of flesh and blood, susceptible to all human flaws like the rest of us, prone to bad judgment under duress and stress. If it is true that Putin is under treatment for cancer and has survived an assassination attempt, then how much energy and focus must he have to focus on turning around a military calamity? Even if he is healthy, Putin turns 70 this October and lacks the physical stamina of his 44-year-old Ukrainian counterpart to be a wartime leader the Russian military needs.

                          President Zelensky has pledged that his country will fight until the full territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored. Getting Crimea back might be too ambitious. But as for the rest, why not? Everything is in his favor.
                          ___________

                          The title of this article made me hesitate to post it but it does bring up some fundamental points about the conflict.
                          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                          Comment


                          • very interesting comments from the US/UK spy chiefs recently.

                            CIA Director says 15K Russian dead, 45K wounded.

                            MI6 Chief says those figures are....conservative.

                            There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              very interesting comments from the US/UK spy chiefs recently.

                              CIA Director says 15K Russian dead, 45K wounded.

                              MI6 Chief says those figures are....conservative.
                              I'll take MI6's figures just on general principles.
                              “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                                Ukraine Is Winning
                                And Putin’s evident desperation will only hurt him more.
                                Propaganda piece. Putin knows exactly what he's doing. It's a war of attrition and there's nothing desperate about that. He is thinking he could lose more men and materials than the Ukrainians could. That's cold hard calculations, not desperation. He's not throwing men and machine into unwinnable fights. His retreat from Keiv says that much but he's inflicting losses that the Ukrainians can't bear (munition expenditure for one) and he's been right.

                                I rolled my eyes at the Penal Battalion bit. The author clearly knows shit all about Penal formations. The Soviets had an entire Penal Army and it was a damned proud and effective army (after criminals learned you can be rewarded for killing, looting, and raping Germans).
                                Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 21 Jul 22,, 20:55.
                                Chimo

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